George Osborne has granted a tax amnesty to overseas athletes competing in this summer’s London Grand Prix in the Olympic Stadium to ensure that Usain Bolt takes centre stage on the anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony.
Who knew that people changed their behaviour in response to incentives? Congratulations to the athletes, who will perform the real public service of giving fans what they want without the savage beast confiscating the usual enormous chunk of their income.
How large? The Treasury is in the habit of not just taxing income made from tournaments in this country, but also a percentage of worldwide earnings too. Usain Bolt and others said “up yours” to that and haven’t been here outside of the Olympics for a few years.
Of course the real incentive is for politicians and bureaucrats to avoid the embarrassment of famous athletes boycotting their games at the Olympic Stadium because their looting is so out of control. The State cannot bear to be mocked.